More about ticks
Life Cycle of a Tick
Ticks need many other hosts before they land on your dog
Most ticks, like Ixodes (X-oh-dees, the blacklegged tick) take two years to complete
the four stages of their lifecycles. From eggs to larva to nymphs to adults, the
Ixodes tick's survival is dependent on different hosts along the way to provide a
blood meal. Did you know the tick spends less time on you or your dog than on these other
Life cycle of a tick
Stage One - Eggs The adult female tick lays her eggs on the ground in the
Stage Two - Larva The egg hatches into larva and finds its first wildlife
hosts (usually a mouse or other small mammal). After a blood meal, the larva detaches and
falls to the ground, where it lies dormant during the winter.
Stage Three - Nymphs Larva develop into nymphs and begin feeding again on a
variety of hosts (mice, deer, humans, dogs) that may be infected with a bacteria called Borrelia
burgdorferi that causes Lyme disease.
Stage Four - Adults Feed on many different hosts, many of which in Lyme
disease areas are infected with the Lyme bacteria organism. Ticks ultimately infect other
hosts such as deer, humans and dogs.
Facts you may not know about Ixodes (the blacklegged tick)
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- Each female tick lays more than 2,000 eggs!
- The tick must dine on blood from whatever host it can find
- Ticks are called "vectors", which means they carry and transmit disease
- Larvae have six legs but have eight by the time they are nymphs and adults
- Adult ticks are the size of a sesame seed or smaller before feeding
- Nymphs and adults transmit Lyme disease to dogs and humans
- You and your dog are most likely to encounter ticks from April to November, when nymphs
and adults begin feeding
- You can only contract Lyme disease from ticks, not from dogs or other humans